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Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: Re:PR works well? Where? (Score 1) 413

by TMB (#48482981) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

Canada has FPTP and has had at least 3 major parties every election for decades (at times up to 5). It's more the case that when you have 2-party FPTP, it is very hard to break out of it... but if you start off with more viable parties, it can remain that way.

Which is not to say that I endorse FPTP in any way, shape or form. We all know that Arrow's Theorem says that no voting system satisfies all the axioms you would like a voting system to adhere to, but some violate the axioms more often and in more egregious ways than others. FPTP is more egregious at the individual level than almost any alternative.

The problem with Arrow's Theorem is that it is really about what happens for a choice amongst a few individuals (like a presidential election), while the majority of countries have parliamentary systems in which it is the aggregate of all of the individual choices that determines the government. If you ask what government you get as a result of all of those individual FPTP elections, its faults vis-a-vis Arrow's Theorem are usually not too bad. Which is probably why FPTP persists despite the fact that it does badly at the individual level -- people tend to agree that the government it produces at the national level usually reflects the will of the people.

Comment: Wikipedia the vector (Score 1) 61

by Bruce Perens (#48386659) Attached to: Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

Like others I found the headline confusing. I read it as "Researchers are predicting the use of Wikipedia as a vector for the spread of disease". This may mean that:

  • Disinformation and ignorance are diseases.
  • Memes and computer viruses are diseases.
  • Wilipedia contains information that leads to depression.
  • Instructions on Wikipedia lead to substance abuse.
  • This is getting entertaining, fill in your own reason here.

Comment: Re:Not a good week... (Score 1) 445

by Bruce Perens (#48298059) Attached to: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

One of the definitions I found was:

One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.

I am sure that fits. While SpaceShip II is mainly intended for a non-exploration purpose, the program has resulted in some significant advances in rocketry and White Knight II has significant non-tourism use. These pilots have been involved in other space efforts, I remember the one who was injured from the Rotary Rocket test flights. There are lots of safer ways for these folks to make as much money as a test pilot is paid. They do what they do to advance our progress in aeronautics and space.

+ - Cygnus ISS Resupply Vehicle Explodes on Lift Off

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Several seconds after lifting off on schedule at 6:22PM, and clearing its tower, the Cygnus Antares rocket slipped back, crashing into the launch facility and exploding. A large fireball consumed the vehicle and caused apparently significant damage to the facility."

+ - New Jersey e-vote experiment after Sandy declared a disaster

Submitted by TMB
TMB (70166) writes "Al Jazeera reports on a Rutgers study about e-voting in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy, and it is damning. It concludes that the middle of a natural disaster is the last time to try switching to a new voting method, especially one rife with such problems as e-voting. The table of contents includes such section headings as "Internet voting is not safe, should not be made legal, and should never be incorporated into emergency measures"."

Comment: Re:I never ever commented on the SCO issue in any (Score 1) 187

We knew what was going on when you ran your anti-IBM campaign, sometimes even positioning yourself as arguing on behalf of our community. It was a way to lend credence to IBM and MS arguments during the SCO issue. To state otherwise is deceptive, perhaps even self-deceptive.

Florian, you would not be devoting all of this text to explaining yourself if you didn't feel the need to paint your actions in a positive light. That comes from guilt, whether you admit it to yourself or not.

Go write your app, and if you actually get to make any money with it you can give thanks, because it will happen despite what you worked for previously. Keep a low profile otherwise because your credibility is well and truly blown and you can only make things worse. And maybe someday you can really move past this part of your life. But I am not holding out much hope.

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